Jong Sim Rim won the 3rd weightlifting gold medal for North Korea and, like all North Korean athletes, she credited her success to the great leadership of the North Korean Supreme Leader Kim, Jong Un. However, few people from the western world take this seriously. So what was the real reason for the success of these athletes from such a poor country? According to certain defected North Korean players, the real reason lies in the reward and punishment system of the country. Winning athletes would get a lot of food and resources for themselves and the families, but the country would punish losing athletes by sending them to the labor camp for tough, labor work. Since the stake is so high for losing in the Olympics, these North Korean athletes work much harder than most of their competitors. Even though fear can be a powerful motivating force, who would want to live in fear? --Jim L. Wilson and Shanon Lee
Karl Ritter, “Rim wins North Korea's 3rd weightlifting gold,” The Associated Press, August 1, 2012, http://sports.yahoo.com/news/rim-wins-north-koreas-3rd-160327462--oly.html (accessed February 24, 2013)
Clare Richardson, “North Korea Olympic athletes face reward or punishment at home,” Huffington Post, August 3, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/03/north-korea-olympics-team_n_1737181.html (accessed February 24, 2013)
Psalm 27:1 (ESV) The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?